• Can We Use Plastic Waste to Build Roads, Buildings, and More?

    A new study examines the current status, challenges, and needs of recycling plastics in a circular economy, and examine the long-term durability and environmental costs of doing so for use in infrastructure. Stanford engineers Zhiye Li and Michael Lepech discuss the potential for reusing discarded plastic in infrastructure applications.

  • As Unprecedented Rainfalls Occur More Frequently, What Can Be Done About the Resulting Flash Floods?

    Record rainfall is wreaking havoc in northern India and New York state as flash floods inundate communities. Experts have called for better resilience through ‘weatherproofing.’

  • From Wadham to GCHQ and Back: Robert Hannigan on Cybercrime, Spying and the AI Tsunami Coming Our Way

    Is the much-vaunted cyber-Armageddon likely or even possible? One experts says that “‘State cyber threats do get overplayed. They can’t do everything and countries over-estimate their cyber capabilities – just as they over estimate their military capability.” The expert  insists, however, that “The challenges are ‘moving very fast’, as potential attackers learn fast.”

  • New York’s Climate Buyout Plans Must Put Communities First: Experts

    In 2022, New York State passed the Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act. Among its many objectives, the act promises to invest more than a billion dollars toward flood protection across the state — including through voluntary private property buyouts. What should a buyout program look like? Designing an equitable buyout program is more complicated than it may seem.

  • NOAA’s 1-in-100 Year Flooding Can Now Be Expected Every 8 Years

    NOAA’s 1-in-100 year floods are supposed to occur once every 1 years – except that in parts of the United States, climate change is causing these events to occur at least once every 8-10 years. Moreover, increases in severe rainfall events are taking place in some of the most populated areas of the country – throughout the Northeast, along the Ohio River Valley, and the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast.

  • As California Attempts a “Managed Retreat,” Coastal Homeowners Sue to Stay

    “Managed retreat” is a climate adaptation policy that calls for relocating and removing coastal structures rather than protecting them where they are. Experts say managed retreat is an important last-resort option for adapting to climate change, but California’s early attempts to implement the policy have provoked a backlash from homeowners and politicians.

  • Boosting Supply Chains by Recovering Valuable Materials from Water

    Promoting national security and economic competitiveness will require America’s researchers to find new ways to obtain the materials that we need for many technologies. Traditional mining is fraught with challenges, while water, from the oceans to geothermal brines, is an underexplored resource for providing various materials.

  • Human-Caused Climate Change at the Center of Recent California Wildfires

    Summer wildfire seasons in California routinely break records. The average summer burn area in forests in northern and central portions of the state have increased fivefold between 1996 and 2021 compared to between 1971 and 1995. In a new study, scientist and collaborators shows that nearly all the recent increase in summer wildfire burned area is attributable to human-caused (anthropogenic) climate change.

  • Microgrids Can Help Communities Adapt to Wildfires

    Wildfires have become increasingly frequent due to climate change, with record occurrences in areas not historically prone to them. For some of the most vulnerable communities, clean energy microgrids can be both more effective and cheaper than conventional technologies.

  • Adapt or Retreat? Conference Will Explore Questions of Habitability in a Changing World

    As sea levels rise, fires rage, and temperatures continue to increase around the globe, it is understood that certain areas may no longer be habitable in the not-so-distant future, and that people now living in these area will have to retreat to more accommodating areas — in what is called “managed retreat.” But what does it mean to be habitable? And who gets to decide what happens to these areas under threat?

  • U.S. Critical Infrastructure May Not Be Resilient Enough to Fend Off, Survive Chinese Cyberattacks: CISA Director

    Americans “need to be prepared” for Chinese cyberattacks, U.S. cyber official said, because the United States may not be resilient enough to fend off and survive Chinese attacks on its critical infrastructure should the present great power competition between Washington and Beijing evolve into an actual conflict.

  • Paving the Way for Collapse-Resistant Structures

    Buildings in the U.S. are generally designed to withstand the usual suspects: rain, wind, snow and the occasional earthquake. Abnormal events such as gas explosions, vehicle impacts or uncontrolled building fires are not typically a consideration. If vulnerable buildings face any of these unanticipated events, the results could be tragic. But now, a new building standard can help engineers prevent the worst.

  • New Mapper Opens Up Access to Flood Planning in New York State

    An accessible new mapping tool will make it easier for individuals and communities in New York State to plan for flooding and sea level rise. The easy interface of the NYS FIDSS Mapper means users don’t need GIS knowledge or complex software — only access to the Internet.

  • For Beleaguered Homeowners and Their Insurers, the Fire Next Time Could Be a Flood

    The data-driven insurance business is in trouble as climate-change-driven disasters arrive with greater fury and frequency. Catastrophic losses are something that insurance companies have long planned and budgeted for. But not this many.

  • 3rd Annual Critical Infrastructure Security Summit Announced

    Critical Infrastructure consists of the sixteen sectors whose assets, systems, and networks, whether physical or virtual, are considered so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on national and economic security, and on public health and safety. Defense Strategies Institute will hold its 3rd annual Critical Infrastructure Security Summit which will discuss ways to create more resilient systems to protect this infrastructure.